BIRMINGHAM (United Kingdom): Triathlete Flora Duffy — Bermuda’s first-ever Olympic champion — retained her Commonwealth Games title with a dominant display in Birmingham on Friday.
The 34-year-old finished in 55min 25sec, 41 seconds clear of England’s Georgia Taylor-Brown, who also took silver behind Duffy in Tokyo last year.
Beth Potter of Scotland finished third.
Duffy held the slenderest of leads over Taylor-Brown heading into the third and final leg of the sprint event, the five-kilometre run.
However, despite some poor form this season, which she put down to having a second bout of Covid-19, she blew her 28-year-old rival away on the first lap.
Taylor-Brown may have been unable to transform silver into gold but her compatriot and Olympic runner-up Alex Yee managed to do so in the men’s race, earlier on Friday.
He hailed his victory as his “greatest achievement” despite his second-place finish at last year’s Tokyo Games.
The 24-year-old made up a deficit of 15 seconds following the bike section to overhaul long-time pacesetter Hayden Wilde on the run and finish in a time of 50:34.
New Zealand’s Wilde briefly regained the lead but, with a 10-second penalty hanging over him, he patted Yee on the shoulder and waved him on to take the honours on his own.
“Just bizarre that it’s me doing this,” Yee told the BBC. “There were so many nations and athletes that I have not raced before.
“I feel extremely grateful and proud to be a triathlete today.
“This is a home Games and the first time I have been able to race in front of my parents for a long time. This is probably I’d say my greatest achievement ever.”
Yee also won mixed relay gold at the Tokyo Olympics.
Wilde sat out his penalty — incurred for not putting his cycling helmet away properly in the transition — but last year’s Olympic bronze medallist still took silver.
“I am chuffed for the guy (Yee),” he said.
“He played the perfect race. He was always in contention and I knew it was going to be a hard task (on the run).”
Wilde, who timed 50:47, said having Yee as a rival was a great motivation for him.
“We have had such great battles since Tokyo, with him getting the (Olympic) silver and me getting the bronze,” he said.
Australia’s Matthew Hauser, who finished three seconds behind Wilde, won bronze in an event in which 2018 champion Henri Schoeman pulled out before the start.
Multiple world champion Jonny Brownlee was another high-profile absentee due to a broken elbow.

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By Dipak

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